The recent XSA-108 vulnerability resulted in a lot of media coverage, which ended up stress-testing some of our policy and security related processes. During the embargo period of XSA-108, the Xen Project Security Team was faced with some difficult questions of policy interpretation, as well as practical issues related to pre-disclosure list membership applications.
To ensure more clarity moving forward, the Xen Project Security Team started a community consultation to improve and better define the project’s Security Vulnerability Response Process. In particular we are seeking to clarify the following elements of the policy, which surfaced during the embargo period of XSA-108:
- Sharing of information amongst pre-disclosure list members during an embargo period
- Deployment of patches on public systems of fixed versions of the Xen Project Hypervisor during the embargo period
- Service announcements to non-list-member users during an embargo period
- Clarifying criteria related to pre-disclosure list membership and making it easier to verify them
- Processing applications of pre-disclosure list membership during an embargo period
For more background and information read the e-mail thread on xen-devel@ called Security policy ambiguities – XSA-108 process post-mortem (also see here to see the entire conversation thread in one place).
If you use Xen Project Software in any way, we encourage you to voice your thoughts to help formulate and update our security policy to ensure it meets the needs of our entire community. To take part in the discussion please send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a member of the list just reply to the relevant thread. If you are not a member of the mailing list and plan to respond to an e-mail that has already been sent you have two easy options:
- You can reply to the message via our issue tracker using the Reply to this message link at the top of the message; or
- Retrieve the mbox from the issue issue tracker, load the thread into your mail client and just reply.
Even if you chose not to subscribe to xen-devel@ – which you don’t have to participate – you may want to occasionally check the discussion thread activity on this thread, to ensure you are not missing any activity.
Going forward, we will collate community input and propose a revised version of the policy, which will be formally approved in line with Xen Project Governance. We have not set a specific deadline for the discussion, but aim to issue a revised policy within 4 weeks.